Everything happens within you. Nothing ever happens to you. You are the nondual consciousness that is experiencing the words on this page, and yet that consciousness is so empty and spacious that nothing ever happens to it. Just as a thunderstorm passes through the sky but does not happen to the sky, every thought, feeling, desire, sensation and event happens in awareness, but does not happen to it.
This is more obvious when it comes to an external event that doesn’t take place near you. A bird flying high above you or the distant sound of traffic obviously happens within the field of awareness, but it doesn’t feel like these events happen to you. Yet if that bird flew right in front of your face, or that traffic was slowing you down on the highway, there is a tendency to think something is happening to you. And anything that arises within your own body and mind feels even more like something that happens to you. If a strong experience of fear or desire or confusion arises, we tend to think it has happened to us instead of within us.
The sky is unharmed by the thunderstorm, and that is why we would say the storm happened in the sky instead of to the sky. What about your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires? Do they harm your awareness? Or do they eventually pass like a summer raincloud? Is your awareness damaged by them, or is awareness still empty and awake, awaiting the next experience after a sensation, feeling, or thought passes?
Your body is within awareness. Because of its physical nature, something can happen to it that leaves a relatively lasting effect, but what about the awareness that is experiencing the body? Every sensation comes and goes in awareness. The sensations in your body are always changing and shifting, and then your attention also moves to other elements of your experience. Even a chronic painful condition is not in your awareness every moment. So even physical events or injuries do not happen to you, they happen within you. What would it mean if a sore muscle or a stomach ache was not happening to you, but just within your field of awareness? What if everything that happens within your body is just another event within the open sky of consciousness?
The most surprising thing is that this is even true of your deepest and innermost feelings and desires. There are feelings of unworthiness and intense longings that can arise deep within your chest or abdomen. It can almost seem like they are a part of you. And yet even they are happening within the field of awareness, and not really to you. What would it mean if a deep feeling of sadness or an overwhelming desire for true love was not happening to you, but just within your field of awareness? What if everything that moves within your heart and mind is just another event within the open sky of consciousness?
All experience passes like a raincloud and leaves behind the fresh, open space of endless awareness. The source of awareness is always here. You are always here. Everything else happens within awareness. Everything else comes and goes. There is not even a separate you within awareness because you are the source of awareness. And so, nothing happens to you; everything happens within you.
Written by Nirmala on 13 July 2009.
From the blog, Known is a drop, unknown is an ocean.
“The real treasure in this moment is always to be found in the awareness of this moment, not in the content of our experience. So it’s not that important if something you like is happening or not. Discovering this simple perspective is like discovering you live in a candy store: Everywhere you turn is another goodie! Beyond that, is the recognition that this endless supply of goodies is what you really are. You are not the content of your experience; you are the awareness that brings life and joy to every experience. Talk about not having to worry about what happens! Nothing that happens can change what you are, and what you are is the biggest treasure. It is hidden in plain sight, right in front of you, always in the experience you are having right now.”
No one chose to be Tom or Mary or Adolph Hitler or Billy Graham or Albert Einstein. Each just appeared and fulfilled that experience. No one chose the circumstances of their formative years that shaped the resulting adult. No one chose which culture or religious affiliation to which he/she would be most exposed or influenced by. The experience just happened. No one knows why each happened. No one knows just why or how each experience developed. No one chose to be born. No one is controlling the millions of bodily functions sustaining us every minute. No one is controlling all those unexpected events occurring daily in our lives. No one knows if there is individual selection or to what degree. No one knows if there is an independent thinker or doer.
Where do thoughts originate? Is your brain generating thought? If we are generating our thought, why do we not know them in advance? We have not the slightest idea of what will be our next thought. How could we possibly be generating them not knowing them in advance? If we are generating our thoughts, why do we have those we would rather not.
“My brain is only a receiver. In the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know it exists.” Nikola Tesla
Does the physical ever create the mental? Is not the body and brain mere objects? The brain is of the very same substance as a rock, a tree or a car. It is all vibrating energy. It is all Consciousness, God or whatever you wish to call IT. There is every bit as much Consciousness in a rock, a car or space as in a brain. All of physicality, whether organic or material, is the same stuff, energy vibrating at different frequencies. It is all molecular structure composed of subatomic particles or rather that which appears as particles to an observer. Science and quantum mechanics now have come to realize that there are no particles after all. In reality, there are no material objects. Energy forms that which appears as physicality as the observer observes, or in accordance to the observers expectations. But which came first, the observation or the expectation? All of physicality is the mere projection of Consciousness manifesting as the play of sensory perception.
I know not the answers, but of this I’m sure, at least to my own satisfaction. There is no separation or separate beings or individuals. There is only Consciousness manifesting through infinite and unique expressions which we as individual aspects of IT experience as this magnificent and marvelous universe. Bodies are buried but no one ever buried the Consciousness. We are not temporary bodies experiencing temporary consciousness but infinite and eternal Consciousness experiencing temporary bodies. We are not Tom and Mary individuals but Tom and Mary experiences. Everything is the expression of the ONE.
If the ONE is only perfection and goodness, Why is there sickness, evil, etc.? Expression requires contrast, contrast requires opposites, etc. We could not appreciate wellness without sickness or happiness without sadness, etc. If the ONE is the sole creator and is perfect, why did he create evil and imperfection? Perhaps He didn’t and it is all the mere temporary projection of infinite experience. Just as a movie has no reality except as images appearing on a screen, experience has no reality except as expression just as a thought of a new car has no reality except as perhaps creation of a pleasant emotion. Evil and the Devil exists only as we create them by our concepts or beliefs. God really is perfect and really is love but we don’t really believe it or we wouldn’t be accusing IT of condemnation and horrible eternal suffering. Such are not characteristic of freedom, love and perfection. Such belief is both blatant contradiction and blatant desecration of both love and God. God is not a creator of failures, refuse and rejects or a failed creation.
Consciousness is ONE and cannot be separate. It has no boundaries. If Consciousness is separate, as in bodies, where does yours end and mine begin? How are the boundaries defined? If our Consciousness is confined to an individual, how are we aware of each other? How could Consciousness be aware of anything outside itself?
God cannot be both separate and infinite. God cannot be both omnipresent and separate. It is impossible for the Infinite to create outside Itself or for the Omnipresent to create a separate entity. You may say, well, anything is possible with God, but God does not violate the very laws of reason and order IT established.
We believe we are the thinker, controller and doer but I seriously doubt it. I suspect it is all part of the game Consciousness is playing within Itself.